Winner of Best of Houzz for Design and Best of Houzz Service Award for 2022 & 2023


Renovating a property can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. On the top 5 most stressful things to do in life, it is definitely up there!!

After completing a few renovations myself I can tell you that it can really make or break a person and that’s without even doing any physical work. Not only is it pain staking at times, especially if you’re doing the work yourself,  it’s can also be a huge financial pressure, especially if you blow your budget.

Here are my top 5 tips to surviving a renovation no matter how big or small and things to consider that can make or break a project.

# 1 Communication is Key

A common theme I see with many couples who are planning on tackling a renovation or building a property is they don’t see eye to eye. One often has the budget in mind whilst the other is all about the finished product no matter how much it costs. As an interior decorator I see this all the time which is also why my role sometimes doubles up as “marriage councillor”.

My advice to anyone considering a renovation is to make sure you’re on the same page as your partner. Before you’ve even begun the project have a conversation about your needs versus your wants, consider what style you’re going for and how you would like the finished space to look, be realistic with your budget (this is a big one) and most of all allow enough time to achieve what you’ve set out to do.

Image by via Pinterest

# 2 Plan your Lead Times 

You know the saying, “I needed this by yesterday”, well this doesn’t come into play when you’re renovating and decorating. There are lead times on pretty much everything, from ordering materials and booking trades to purchasing furniture and allowing for delivery, so always make sure you plan ahead. 

The easiest way to do this is to work out when you would like to complete different stages of the project and work backwards from there so you can allow enough time to complete each part. Keep in mind that tradies are busy people so if you want to lock them in, make sure you get in early.

Image by via Pinterest 

# 3 Budget for Everything and Anything

Although I’m an optimist most of the time, renovating and building are those times where it pays to be cautious and have a contingency plan. Lets be clear, renovating isn’t cheap and for most people money doesn’t grow on trees. When planning your budget, research different finance options to ensure that your renovation is as cost effective as possible and then allow 10% of your overall budget to go towards any unforeseen things that may come up, such as delays.

A lot of people have no idea how much a renovation costs and only budget for what they think they’ll need, but trust me when I say, it pays to keep some extra money aside should anything go wrong.

If anything it could save your marriage, because we all know the stress that comes when the money runs out!

Image by via Pinterest 

# 4 Consider the overall look of each room before you start

This seems to be the one point that people often overlook, but it’s probably one of the most important! Whether you’re renovating one room or an entire house, you want it to look amazing. 

Before you start a project it helps to have an idea of the look and feel you want to achieve and the style you’re going for. There are many resources our there such as Pinterest that can give you ideas, but for many people this can prove overwhelming because there’s just too much choice!

An interior decorator can help alleviate some of the stress by helping you hone in on the style you want to achieve. They assist you in understanding your taste and how to bring it to life. Throughout the process they provide guidance through mood boards, colour palettes, material samples and work towards your budget. 

Another upside to hiring a decorator is their trade discounts, which can be a major money saver!

Image via Pinterest 

#5 Engage an Expert

I am fortunate enough to be married to an electrician and a man that is a jack of all trades, but when it comes to renovating even he has had to bite the bullet and engage professionals.

If you’re planning on tackling a DIY renovation or larger project, there are always going to be aspects that you wont be able to complete yourself. It pays to engage an expert earlier in the process to assist you with understanding the work involved and how much it will cost.

For larger projects that may require structural changes, experienced builders can assist with this and will be able to guide you through the planning and building approvals that may be required. Architects are also great for not only the design of a building but also project managing the build from start to finish, just be sure to work with someone your resonate with as positive working relationships are key to reducing stress levels in what is already a stressful situation.

Image by via Pinterest


Image and brand credits:,,,, Three Birds Renovations and Pinterest.

If you’re wanting to create your dream home but have no idea where to start, my FREE 30 minute consultation is the perfect introduction to see which of my affordable packages will suite your needs. 

Get in touch and find out how I can help you create a home you love.

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